Shops and Businesses

Past & Present

Of RETFORD

a Market Town in North Nottinghamshire

This is a site set up by a family history enthusiast who has unresolved research into shops and their owners in Retford.

I am building up from personal and local knowledge a database of details on a variety of shops and businesses from various sources. Concentrating on the past more than the present but some details have been gleaned from such places as the local papers from articles about long-time owners retiring, so some items could be of a more recent nature.

In my own lifetime I have seen many changes to the shops and streets eg: pedestranisation in the late 70’s and whereas the hub of the town once was probably the market square and the streets leading off such as Bridgegate, Carolgate and Grove Street who had an equal distribution of shops and businesses, nowadays Carolgate is the main shopping area (and the Market Square on market days) and I personally feel Bridgegate has been left looking quite “shabby” and neglected.

At various times (it appears) we have been inundated with a particular type of shop or business eg: we have been well resourced in banks and building society’s, over the last 10 years or so more Charity shops have opened up.  I am trying to get an overview of how the needs of Retford folk have changed over a period of time and how this reflects in the types of shops/businesses that trade/have traded here.

WHAT I HAVE STARTED TO DO:-

    I am collecting information as follows:
    Name of Shop/Business,
    Nature of Business,
    Address where operated from, any changes in address,
    Owners names if known,
    Years operated,
    Source of information.
    Other/Misc: eg: an obituary in the local paper for someone involved in the business OR a story of how that business found fame in some way – either local or national!

WHAT STARTED THIS PROJECT:-

My interest in my mother’s family tree and her maiden name of GLASBY.

I know of the existence of a Grocer’s shop on Carolgate which was run by a FRED GLASBY and his son RALPH, it has been said that these were related in someway to my Grandfather but I have not proved any connection as yet, but I have amassed information about these two gentlemen in the hope that one day I may discover that elusive connection. It also seems that this FRED GLASBY’s wife was Gertrude Annie nee BAMFORTH and her father Richard was a tailor, (his brother was a baker). I remember a cake shop by the name of Bamforths. They also appeared to have a lot to do with the Congregational church which was situated on Carolgate Bridge (now demolished for the Aldi Store)

ULTIMATELY

I am looking to build up a database to hopefully hold as many details about as many of the shops & business’s in RETFORD to satisfy my need for information on some of the shop keepers and their family’s (especially the GLASBY’S and BAMFORTH’S) but it may also help others in either family research or local history research to have this information together in one place.

CAN YOU HELP?

Maybe you worked, or a member of your family worked for a shop that traded in Retford and could give me relevant details (see above for basic information I need) that would help me and save me time researching in the local papers etc to find this information; I am particularly interested in shops that no longer exist but to make a complete datatbase am willing to include modern day businesses as well. Have there been any famous jobs done or events in the business’s history?

Another person I correspond with over the Glasby name remembers his Uncle working for the Iron Foundry on Albert Road and it is believed that they made the metal lamp-post fittings that are meant to represent the Spanish Armada advancing down The Mall towards Buckingham Palace and this year when I was in London in the summer I saw the posts for myself. Can anyone tell me when these were made and fitted? The Keeper of The Royal Parks in charge of The Mall would like to know as well! **STOP PRESS** I have had information that the lamps were made late 1950’s/1960’s and that a George Smith was the moulder and Harry Butler the Fettler!